Advaita : Some Basic Explanations - 13 (The last)

hbdave hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN
Wed Mar 20 05:51:34 CST 2002

Dear List Members,

On 15th Feb I sent out a mail containing a Proposition and a story.
Now that the series on Basic Explanations is ended, I revert back to
that Proposition and that story.

We shall also discuss a third meaning of the word "kutastha".

 I also propose to show why I believe that J~naanii/ Aj~naaniii
does not form a binary system.

(1)    Jagatguru Adi Shankara has said :
            shlokaardhena pravakshyami yaduktam granthakotibhi.h |
      brahma satyam jaganmithyaa jiivo brahmaiva naapara.h   ||

        Thus acharaya has explained advaita as aikya of jiiva and

        Maayaa or avidyaa is anirvachaniya - in one plane of reality it
        and other (higher) plane of reality it does not.

Proposition : thus, to understand advaita properly, one has to
                            the aikya of brahma and maayaa. If this is
clear, then all the
                            other statements in advaita follow from it.

Brahman is called Sat, Chit, Ananda.
Are these aspects of Brahman?
Are these attributes of Brahman?
No. Our limited mind, constrained to talk in terms of
categories only, using names and forms, try to talk about
the Whole, as if it has these aspects.
These "aspects" are not separate.

Similarly, Maya is non-separate from Brahman, you can not
have one without the other.
You can not have Shiva without Parvati, or Rama without Sita,
or Vishnu without Laxmi.

Advaita is about aikya of not only jiiva and brahman, but more
basically, what we call brahman and Maya.

Gaudapadacharya says :
devasya svabhaava.h

"this is the very nature of brahman ... "

So, a released man thinks : "I being brahman has maayaa and
all that I perceive is play of my own maayaa."

aha.m v.rk.sasya rerivaa ...
"I am the director of this Tree (of manifestation) ... "

Doubt : Brahman is birthless, deathless, without characteristics, etc.
        Maya on the other hand is variegated, subject to suspension,
        How it can be part of brahman?

Reply : First, Maya is not  a part of brahman. It is very nature
        of brahman.  Second, when one tries to realize the Ultimate
Reality, one
        is not suspending Maya, rather one is realizing the effects of
        accept the effects as essential nature of brahman. The final
        of development of a seeker is to reject the duality of

Doubt : But then what is the cause of Maya ?

Reply : The question of cause of Maya itself is invalid, because the
        effect relationship itself is product of Maya. Similarly, Maya
is called
        anaadi (without begining) because time is result of Maya.

Doubt :  Can we not say that brahman with Maya is some form of a lower
        brahman and without it is a higher brahman?

Reply :  Are you talking about Saguna and Nirguna brahman?
        Saguna brahman is when you as a seeker consider Maya as
        separate from brahman, Nirguna brahman is simply brahman,

Doubt : But does that Nirguna brahman include Maya?

Reply : You are going round a circle.  Maya is Brahman. When you say
        Nirguna brahman what you mean is that you have clearly
        that Maya is very nature of brahman.

Doubt : Can I not think that : just as in deep meditation my mind
        devoid of v.rttii, the Nirguna  or highest brahman is devoid of

Reply : No, it is not like that. Do not compare mental movements with
        Maya. If Maya is understood to be separate attribute of brahman
        only this question arises.

(2) Third meaning of "kutastha" :
We have already seen two meanings of "kutastha" in posting no. 4.

kutastha -  unchanging like an anvil;
kutastha -  staying at the top of the mountain Meru, i.e. higher than
                    hierarchy of koshas - annamaya, praanamaya, etc.

Let us have a look at the meanings of word  "kuta"
{\skt kuuta} = false; immovable, steady; despised; illusion, deception;
                a puzzle or puzzling question; peak of a mountain;

The third meaning of "kutastha" is related to taking "kuta" to mean
illusion or deception, i.e.Maya. "One which stays steady in midst of
deception", i.e. Atman.

Coming to posting by Shri D.V.N. Sharma, where he wrote :
> > As I have already pointed out according to Sankara
> > kUTastha is mAyA.

Maya is Kutastha and not other way round. The refered
passage by Shankaracharya is as follows :

[Giita : XV-16]
{\skt  dvaavimau puru.sau loke k.sara"scaak.sara eva ca |}
{\skt  k.sara.h bhuutaani kuu.tastho .a k.sara ucyate ||}

Shankar commentary :
{\skt bhagavata.h maayaa"sakti.h k.saraakhyasya puru.sasya utpattibiijam
kuu.tastha.h raa"si.h eva sthita.h athavaa kuu.ta maayaa
va~ncanaa jihmataa ku.tilataa iti paryaayaa
sthita.h kuu.tastha.h |}

The Mayashakti of the brahman is the  origin of the Purusha called
Kutastha means one which is staying steady as anvil or Kuta means Maya,
deception, hiding, wikedness, etc. One who stays with many such form of
Maya is Kutastha.

There was a king who liked to observe his kingdom in guize of a beggar.
When his minister saw him on the road, he said "this beggar is the
He would not say "This king is beggar", because then it has a different

Thus Maya is Kutastha and not the other way round. As shown above
Adi Shankara did not say that Kutastha is Maya.

(3)  j~naana and aj~naana form a binary system but not
        j~naanii and  aj~naanii.

Kenopanishad [II-1,2] indicates that, in terms of mental activity,
is beyond knowable and unknowable. Further, in [II-5] it says that "the
immortality is obtained on leaving this world".  This may be interpreted
mean - (i) on death or (ii) on leaving attachment to the world.

Ken has very kindly posted some portions of Tripura Rahasya and from
we find that j~naana  (Knowledge) is the same whatever way one achieves
but a j~naanii may behave differently, depending upon his Karma.

Who is a j~naanii ?  Is j~naanii and aj!naanii form a binary system like
and False, or 1 and 0?   Swamy Swarna gave an analogy of a planet
the Sun but there are a few things wrong with this analogy. We can go
analysis of the analogy (which would be lengthy), but we should realize
that :

an analogy is usuable for a limited or specific aspect of brahman but
not for
demonstrating the process of achieving  aikya of brahman and jiiva.

It is like a Black Hole. Just as no information can escape from within a
Hole to outside, as the means of conveying the information is not
- light waves are even trapped within - similarly when we are talking
a jiiva realizingAtman, there is nothing left to deal with in any way at

Such final dissolution can be only Videhamukti. Though Jivanamukti is
very very near to it, it is still an approximation.

Generally  while explaining Jivanmukti, the idea of Prarabdha Karma is
invoked (a kind of inertia, like a arrow or potter wheel). The theory of

karma itself is product of duality. If a Jivanmukta has really reached
that state where he is *totally* one with brahman, then to whom those
Prarabdha Karma belong? It can not be the Jivanmukta because he is
beyond Karma.

If we accept the theory of inertia of Prarabdha Karma sustaining the
body/mind of the Jivanmukta, then we have to also accept that he has
to be *extremely* careful not do any action which will attach to him,
otherwise, his fate will be like Bharat (son of Rishabhadeva), who,
out of piety got attached to a dear-cub and had to take birth as a dear.

In the next birth he decided to be JadaBharata.

It is due to this that a realized person is advised to keep silent.

This is my understanding.

(4)  The Story :
It was given just to illustrate several aspects of mind of a seeker,
Time compression, aloofness, spontaneous Samadhi,  feeling of
oneness and simultaneously separation from the environment, etc.

-- Himanshu
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: </archives/advaita-l/attachments/20020320/24d574d9/attachment.html>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list